Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"The Big McCain": Thank you, Jeff

My friend Jeff created an awesome video of McCain in place of the character Walter in the movie The Big Lebowski. It perfectly sums up McCain's true anger that always seems to be lurking beneath. (Beware that this video is NSFW for language):

Can you imagine McCain in charge of the most powerful military on the planet? That's absolutely terrifying. I know for a fact McCain has a temper because my neighbor works for Ted Kennedy and has coordinated with McCain on numerous occasions. For example, he told me that right before the McCain-Kennedy bill on immigration was announced, McCain was literally screaming at another Senator "fuck you!" over and over. This man would certainly jump to war and be foaming at the mouth the whole time.

The other night I watched a documentary on JFK and it had a part about his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that time, every single advisor to Kennedy --- military and otherwise --- except his brother Bobby was telling him to invade Cuba and take out the nukes. These "experienced" old bureaucrats said the conflict would be winnable.

But now, since the end of the USSR, we know that the Russians had over 100 nuclear missiles in Cuba and that if America had invaded, half of them would've been launched at the attacking force, and the other half on all the cities on the east coast of the USA. Basically, we owe the existence of the living world to Kennedy's calm demeanor and desire to put non-military solutions first --- he blockaded the island instead of invading. Which one of our current presidential candidates would've acted as Kennedy did and which one wouldn't have? That's an easy answer.

The program also played part of Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in Berlin which is absolutely amazing. He kept repeating that for all those people who make excuses for Communism, "come to West Berlin" and see for yourself its true face. He gave the speech right after the wall was built and on the other side you could see the bricked up windows, barbed wire and desolate streets of East Germany. Just striking. Apparently, even today old Germans still gather in that spot on the anniversary and play Kennedy's speech on a big screen. They showed the faces of these old Germans with tears streaming down their faces.

America used to be a country that people in foreign lands respected as a model to emulate --- not one to fear and loathe. Many of us seem to forget that.

I found Obama's speech in Berlin recently and I was blown away by the number of people who showed up and how many were waving American flags. This gets said so often so flippantly by jingoist patriots, but the below video makes me feel truly proud of my country. At least watch the first minute of his speech so you can see the size of the crowd:

Imagine what an American president could accomplish abroad when the populations of many foreign countries see our president as a hero. We'd hardly need the military to get things done! It's sad that the positive German reception to an American politician should come as a surprise, but it's simply the result of eight years of some of the worst leadership the civilized world has seen since WWII. But let's not dwell on the past: on November 4th, one of my heroes is very likely to be our next president.
I know this is a bit beside the point but my college German prof always got a kick out of telling us the Germans -- while moved by the speech, sure -- found humor in the fact that the correct German phrase is "Ich bin Berliner," whereas "ein Berliner" most commonly referred to a cream-filled pastry.
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